This modern take on the traditional template is one of my favorite steelhead patterns.
Here’s what I wrote about the North-Country Spider Egg in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of American Angler:
T.E. Pritt never chased chrome, but his renowned North-Country spiders make for fine steelhead soft-hackles. I’ve had even more success with the spider template by adding a tail and using bright colors and modern materials. Pritt may be rolling over in his grave at the liberties I’ve taken, but he could not argue with the results: steelhead love this fly.
Classic North-Country patterns like the Winter Brown and the Grey Partridge sport a head of wound peacock herl. In the Spider Egg, I’m simply using a few turns of Estaz Petite. The Estaz should be a contrasting color to the monochromatic body, wing, and tail. I like black/chartreuse; chartreuse/black; chartreuse/white; black/purple; and metallic copper/black. You can and should experiment with different color combinations.
The North-Country Spider Egg Rogues’ Gallery:
Fresh chrome, Salmon River, 11/2014
Really nice looking pattern! One even I could tie! Do you use them the entire season, or are they best used when the Steelhead are fresh and aggressive?
Funny you should ask. The article in American Anger that this fly appeared in was titled “Soft Hackles for Winter Steelhead.”
Use ’em all season long. 🙂